Friday, May 20, 2011

Seven Secrets to Grilling Steaks!

Grilling is a high heat cooking method done directly over live flames, cooking food in a matter of minutes. A few tips will make your grilled steaks even more delicious!
1/. Preheat Grill – Make it very hot!
When using charcoal let it burn until it is covered with a thin coat of gray ash. Hold your hand about 6 inches above the grate, if after three seconds you are forced to pull your hand away – the fire is ready. The grill must be very hot to properly sear the meat creating a crusty surface texture and caramelizing the natural sugars to produce that steak flavor we love!
2/. Meat at Room Temperature
Take out of fridge an hour or two before cooking so it is no longer cold inside when you are ready to grill it. If not, the steak will toughen and still be cold in the middle when done on the outside, or just overcooked through and through!

3/. Lubricate the meat not the grill.
Lightly rub the steak(s) with olive oil and then liberally season both sides with salt and black pepper on both sides. The salt will bring some of the meat's juices to the surface and help to form the brown crust that is a sign of good grilling. 

4/. Use Tongs Not Forks
Do not use utensils that stab the meat and let the precious juices run out, but tongs that enable you to move and turn the meat without puncturing it.

5/. Cook it fast and get it off the grill!
The real secret to a juicy steak is to get it cooked fast and to get it off the grill the second it's done. Letting a steak sit on a grill too long will dry out the meat. Generally a steak needs to be cooked 3 minutes on one side and then turned over for another 3 minutes. Flip and repeat process.

6/. Give it a rest
Let the grilled meat stand on the cutting board for about seven minutes to allow the juices which have been driven to the center of the meat during the cooking process to redistribute through out, producing a juicier tastier cut of meat. (The meat will continue to cook a bit during this process, so take it off of the grill at a little less done than how you want to serve it).

7/. Use the right cuts of meat
Large roasts cook better with indirect heating, but direct grilling is perfect with smaller cuts like steaks. Select steaks that are about one inch to an inch and a half thick. and well marbled to give you that juicy tasty flavor steak lovers crave. The best steaks for grilling are:. 

Rib Eye Steaks
Hand cut and trimmed from the heart of the prime rib. Traditionally a favorite among steak lovers, this tender and juicy steak is perfect for grilling on or off the bone. (This is my personal favorite.)
The New York Strip
A perfect balance between a high fat steak (Ribeye) and a very lean steak like a Sirloin or Filet (which do not do as well grilled). Good marbling very good for grilling.
T-Bone or Porterhouse
Two steaks in one! One side is a full New York Strip, and the other side is Filet. The Filet size on a T-Bone is smaller than the Porterhouse which has a large Filet portion.
Flank Steaks
This is a lean, flat cut that's fairly tender and extremely flavorful.  It can be grilled (pre-marinated or not) but don't cook past medium rare or it will become very tough.  Before serving, cut the steak into thin slices at a slant against the grain.

Grilling Side Dishes

Grilled Vidalia Onions
Cut Vidalia (or other large sweet onions) in large slices (about ¼” thick) and place each slice in aluminum foil with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of onion slice). Wrap and close foil. Grill until tender and slightly darkened.

Grilled “Baked Potatoes”
Take a piece of aluminum foil large enough for your potato. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in the center. Season with salt and pepper. Place the potato on the oil, roll it around to coat with the oil and wrap it up. The oil will keep it moist and the seasonings will add flavor. Place them anywhere on the grill away from the high heat, like an upper rack or off to the side. Baked potatoes will take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook .You can tell they are done when a fork pierces to the center easily..

Grilling Corn in the Husk:
I prefer to grill the corn while still in its husk, silk and all. If the ears have many layers of husk on them, peel off  the first few only, leaving a few layers for protection.  Soak completely covered in cold water for 15 minutes. This will provide extra moisture for cooking and will steam the corn kernels inside the husks. Place the corn on the grill as soon as the initial flames from the charcoal die down and the coals are still red-hot. Take care not to crowd the grill, which would choke off too much air to the coals. Grill the corn, turning often, until the first layer of husk is completely charred. This should take from 5 to 10 minutes. To remove the corn from its husk, cut the stem end up to the bottom of the ear and peel back the husks and silk. Brush away any burnt silks. Dress the corn as with butter and salt.  

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